Last Modified: Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:54 AM
MONROE (AP) — Two former ULM players who started their careers together as Warhawks will now try to make the next leap in football together.
Receiver Brent Leonard decided this week that he will participate in the New Orleans Saints minicamp next weekend, instead of his previous invitation to the Dallas Cowboys.
The Saints invited fewer receivers than the Cowboys, prompting Leonard's decision, and there he will meet back up with tight end Keavon Milton, who signed a free agency deal this past Sunday following the NFL draft.
"We are both excited about it," Leonard said. "It's nice that I will have someone that I know there with me. He (Milton) has always been a guy I respected. We have a long road ahead of us, though."
Both players grew up in Texas and played their prep careers at high schools separated by just about 90 miles.
From there, the duo came to ULM in the fall of 2008 - Milton as a scholarship player and Leonard as a walk-on.
After redshirting their first season, the two offensive weapons gradually became a bigger part of the game plan, and their respect for each other is evident.
Milton said he learned that Leonard was coming to the Saints camp while at dinner earlier this week, and he made quite the scene.
"The first thing I did was yell with excitement," Milton said. "Everybody was looking at me like I was crazy, but I didn't care because all I'm thinking about is that he will be there with me."
Milton said prior to signing a free agent contract, he had heard from the San Francisco 49ers and the Cowboys, as well.
"I was just sitting there waiting for my phone to ring, and different teams were calling and saying that they had picks in late rounds and that they were pushing to get me," Milton said. "But I understand why things played out the way they did. I'm happy with the results of things."
The Saints drafted five players this past weekend, including one receiver - Kenny Stills from Oklahoma. Milton is one of two tight ends that signed a free agency contract with the team and will wear No. 83. New Orleans also signed Josh Hill from Idaho State.
Milton is still in the Monroe area and working at Hertz as a car detailer. He will leave Thursday for New Orleans.
"This whole process is a blessing from the man above, and it looks like he has more in store for us," Milton said. "Coming from the same school and the possibility of playing on the same team would be great."